Friday, March 4, 2011

Recipe - Beer Braised Chicken and Chicken Chili

I cook a lot of chicken.  I am always looking for new and inventive recipes so that chicken dinner isn't boring.  This one was fabulous.  I adapted it from a Rachael Ray Week in a Day recipe.  My whole family loved the flavors in this braised chicken dish.  Instead of potatoes or rice, I served barley as a side; that was a big hit, too.
(We ate all the chicken,
we ate all the chicken chili-
this photo will have to suffice)
Beer-Braised Chicken

4 pieces bone-in, skin-off chicken thighs
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 rounded tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 (12-ounce) bottle lager beer
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock
hot sauce (optional)

Pat the chicken, and season with salt and pepper.
Heat 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the chicken and brown on both sides in 2 batches.
Remove the chicken to a plate and add the bacon. Brown for 2 minutes and then add the onion, celery, pepper, garlic, and thyme, and saute, for about 10 minutes over medium heat.
Add the flour, stir 1 to 2 minutes, and then pour in the beer and let the foam subside. Stir in the tomatoes, stock, and hot sauce. Let the sauce thicken a bit, and then slide the chicken into the pot and simmer to cook through, or at least 30 minutes to let the flavors marry. Serve with barley, rice, potatoes, or crusty bread, and a big salad.


Then we had leftovers.  Always a dilemma at our house: how to reinvent the leftovers so that it doesn't feel like the same meal again.  This was a great dish to re-invent.  I made a Chicken Chili with the rest of the Braised Chicken and served that another night with tortilla chips and a fresh salad.  Perfect! 
The Chili used all the leftover chicken and sauce as well as the barley I had served as a side.  Everyone loved it - so much so, we ate all of it!

(Leftover) Chicken Chili

Leftovers from Beer Braised Chicken
1 can (14-ounces) Great Northern Beans
1 can (14-ounce) diced tomatoes
1- 2 cups cooked barley
2-4 cups chicken stock
Place vegetables and leftover sauce in pot over low to medium heat. Dice chicken into bite sized pieces. Drain and rinse beans. Add beans and tomatoes (with juices) to the pot. Add barley. Add enough broth to increase the volume, and cover the vegetables.  Simmer for 15 – 30 minutes until heated through.


This was the perfect way to use what was left and we all enjoyed the "new" meal.  What do you do with your leftovers?

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